Occupational map and job roles
The roles of line producer and production manager in TV drama sit within a wider family of creative and production roles involved in the creation of scripted content for both film and TV.
The line producer and production manager will have dealings with the key creative team of producer and director as well as working closely with the whole range of production department roles including production co-ordinators, first and second assistant directors (ADs) and production accountants. In addition, they will liaise with all the other various departments involved in the physical production of TV drama – script, location, camera, sound, lights, art, hair and make-up and wardrobe.
The job title of line producer comes from film but is also used in TV drama. It arises from the idea of a line in the budget between 'above the line' costs that relate to writers, producers, directors and cast and 'below the line' costs for everything else – including the costs of crew, construction, equipment hire, locations, catering, insurance and more. It is these 'below the line' costs that the line producer is responsible for assessing, budgeting and managing.
Where the line producer works with a production manager they will delegate the day-to-day business of managing the physical aspects of the production to them.
But on productions where these roles merge, they may both be done by the same person and they may have either title, depending on the budget and scale of the production, the sources of funding and how the production team is configured.
For some insight into how the two roles can work together on a TV drama series follow these links to the BBC Academy site – and interviews with the line producer and production manager on the BBC drama series Waking The Dead:
These roles both require an extensive understanding of the processes involved in TV drama production – usually gained by progressing through a variety of production roles.
So in this section are links to job profiles for both a line producer and a production manager and a range of related production roles to help aid the understanding of where the key roles featured in this handbook fit into the picture.
None of the profiles exclusively relate to TV drama production and some are more directly related to how roles work in film, but nevertheless they are a useful resource to help explain what is involved in this range of production jobs.
Job role links
Key roles for TV drama production management
Related production roles
Potential career path roles for line producers and production managers
- Production co-ordinator
- Assistant production co-ordinator
- Production assistant
- Production runner (or production assistant)
- Production secretary
- Location manager
- Assistant location manager
- 1st assistant director
- 2nd assistant director
- 3rd assistant director
- Script supervisor
- Production accountant
- Key assistant accountant
- Assistant accountant
- Floor runner